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Toxins found in our favorite chocolates, and yes, it's a huge bummer

Adriana Velez is Food Editor for SheKnows. She spent her formative years in Brooklyn, which pretty much explains everything about her. She now lives somewhere else and has discovered life after kale and kombucha. She's written for Civil ...

This is not what we hoped to find enrobed in our luscious chocolate treats

We really hate to do this to you right after the Easter chocolate bunny and egg bonanza of 2016, but we thought you might want to know, just like you'd want us to tell you if you had a piece of cilantro stuck in your teeth. A new study by environmental group As You Sow found toxic levels of lead and cadmium in chocolate. How bad is it? Out of 50 popular chocolate products, 35 contained one or both metals, some above the safe levels for California's drinking water.

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I know. Not only is it Monday, but I've just ruined chocolate for you. I'm sorry. All I can say is, hopefully this report will change things for the better.

As You Sow has filed notices with 18 manufacturers for failing to post warnings about the lead and cadmium on their packages. These companies include: Earth Circle Organics, Equal Exchange, Ghirardelli, Godiva, Green & Black’s, Hershey’s, Kroger, Lindt, Mars, See’s Candies, Theo Chocolate, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

And here's the other big shocker: Organics are on the list along with other companies we trust, companies that are supposed to be all about quality and integrity. Ugh.

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So. What to do? I suppose you could avoid those brands for now or at least limit your consumption of those chocolates. I think by now we all know how toxins work. A little from here, a little from there, and it all starts to accumulate. So if there's a known source of heavy metals, at least you can avoid that and give your body (and your kids' bodies!) less to fight off.

As You Sow has a chart showing levels of metals in the chocolates they tested. Scroll way down to the bottom and you'll see the chocolates with green, "no warning required" chocolates -- those should be safe to eat.

As for those more toxic chocolates, researcher Eleanne van Vliet tells us, "Since manufacturers may have various brands and a multitude of chocolate products, As You Sow has not tested every chocolate product on the market for lead/cadmium, but is continuing it’s testing and plans to add these results to the product chart published on their website." That said, she encourages us not only to choose our chocolates carefully, but to reach out to your favorite companies directly and ask them to get the metals out of their treats. As we're starting to see, that kind of action actually can get results.

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